I curse the fact that my dealer is a traditionalist as I turn the corner into the dark alley, the heads up display in my glasses warning me I’m going off the beaten track.

“That’s far enough,” a voice whispers through my earbuds. I notice a new remote access to my local server, but as usual can’t see anyone.

“You have the stuff?”

His reply is to ping me a fund transfer request. “And don’t complain about the price going up, this stuff’s getting harder to get.”

As I transfer the money I suppress a shudder, trying not to think of the ever increasing number of news tweets about comatose husks showing up in alleys like this one.

He cuts his connection after downloading the goods. An icon of a brown paper bag appears in the corner of my HUD. Definitely a traditionalist.

I rush home, flick the file to my direct neural link, and slip the slim device onto my forehead. As a lifetime of someone’s experiences begin to unfold before my senses, my hands stop shaking, and I relax, satisfied for the first time in days.

View this story's 16 comments.